Andrew Segal is a prolific author with books ranging from rhyming kids’ stories through ‘The Hamilton Conspiracy’ to this series of fascinating short stories. His ‘day job’ provides the basis for many entertaining tales, and his imagination conjures characters and situations that will leave you eager to read more.
A licensed insolvency practitioner based in London, Andrew has been writing, much for his own amusement, for the past 20 years or so.
Brought up in North-West London, Andrew schooled at William Ellis grammar and The London School of economics where he gained a degree in monetary economics.
After a stint in his father’s business in the rag trade in London’s West-End, Andrew entered the accountancy profession in the 1970s, later specialising in insolvency with a well-established firm in New Cavendish Street, eventually opening his own practice in the early 1980s. He is presently a partner with a well-known practice in Camden, on the fringe of London’s West-End.
The insolvency profession is a diamond mine of stories, and Andrew has found himself working to assist a motley crew of clients, including a gambler who owed the Triads over £200,000, various professionals, including accountants and lawyers, hitting unplanned hard times, the young, the old and even a lady of ill repute! This woman required an Individual Voluntary Arrangement in order to avoid being made bankrupt by the Inland Revenue for overdue income tax. After nearly a year of negotiating, the IVA was eventually accepted by the Revenue, and she was able to keep her smart apartment and pursue her chosen profession.
She expressed surprise that, as she put it, ‘People in my profession have to pay tax?’ Andrew reminded her gently that everyone has to pay tax, whatever their source of income. This even applied to the gangster, Al Capone, who was sentenced in 1931 to 11 years in jail for failure to pay tax on his 1925 illicit earnings. Interestingly, Mr Capone never served time for murder, not even for the infamous St Valentine’s Day massacre.
An idea for the first short story came out of the blue, (don’t they often?), and witnessed the production of the somewhat surreal, ‘Cat and Mouse,’ duly presented to wife and daughter, his sternest critics, for approval, which having thus been gained, resulted in Andrew joining a writer’s group. The success of that first foray into the world of writing encouraged Andrew to write further, with the group clamouring for more each week.
Andrew finds inspiration for many of his stories in real life events. His story, ‘The Leopard,’ relates to an appalling event involving a family member when they were just 6 years old, and already showing signs of leadership skills.
Andrew has been married twice. His first wife was from Trinidad, and daughter Charlotte, from that marriage, and now in her thirties, keeps in touch with cousins on the island via Facebook.
Andrew’s present wife, Roberta, is a retired children’s teacher with a wealth of her own stories to tell. Like the burly 11 year old who insisted on disrupting the class one day. Roberta smiled at the boy, and asked if he’d like to come to the front and announce his name to everyone, and then write it on the chalk board. A moment’s expectant silence. Then: end of disturbance. Boy, unsure of what might follow, sat and gave the teacher his respect and full attention. As they say, ‘A soft word turneth away wrath.’ How teachers are to be admired.
Andrew and Roberta, both originally from North-West London, (Kilburn and Cricklewood respectively), presently live in Hampton, Middlesex, and are both avid readers, with pretty eclectic taste: everything from Dickens and Trollope to Grisham, Phillipa Gregory, Tracey Chevalier, William Boyd, Graham Green and Ian McEwan, to mention but a few.
Favourite pastimes include travel and walking, and Andrew is a swimmer – he swims up to two miles of the local open air pool. They own a small home in Narbonne, Southern France, presently being renovated to provide a base to visit without the need to pack a bag.
For his sins, Andrew is a Spurs supporter. As he puts it, ‘We ever live in hope.’
This is Andrew’s first planned collection of short stories, starting with, ‘I am a Gigolo.’